Baseball Prospectus Phillies Top 10

I have to run to work so I will fill in some details later, but BP released their Phillies Top 10 today, you can read it here,  For now I will leave the names and projection (OFP and what it means) and tools (if there is a * it is a potential not an actualized tool)

1. Jesse Biddle (6, #3 starter, moderate risk)

Tools: 5+ FB, 6* CB, 5+ CH

2. Maikel Franco (6, first division player, high risk)

Tools: 5+* hit, 6 raw power, 6+ arm

3. Adam Morgan (6, #3 starter, moderate risk)

Tools: 5+ FB, 6 SL, 5+* CH, 5* CB

4. Roman Quinn (6, first division player, high risk)

Tools: 8 speed, 5+* hit, 5+ arm

5. Tommy Joseph (hi 5, solid-average regular, moderate risk)

Tools: 6 power, 6+ arm

6. Ethan Martin (6, late-innings reliever, moderate risk)

Tools: 7 FB, 6 CB, 5+ SL

7. Cody Asche (5, solid-average regular, moderate risk)

Tools: 6* hit, 5 power, 5 arm

8. Jonathan Pettibone (5, #4 starter, moderate risk)

Tools: 5 FB, 6 CH, 5 SL

9. Carlos Tocci (6, first division player, extreme risk)

Tools: 7 speed, 6 arm, 6+* glove, 5+* hit

10. Shane Watson (6, #3 starter, high risk)

Tools: 6+* FB, 6* CB, 5* CH

5 Prospects on the rise:

Gabriel Lino

Mitch Gueller

Andrew Pullin

5 for 2013:

Darin Ruf

Phillipe Aumont

Jake Diekman

Top 10 25 and Under:

  1. Jesse Biddle
  2. Maikel Franco
  3. Adam Morgan
  4. Roman Quinn
  5. Domonic Brown
  6. Tommy Joseph
  7. Ethan Martin
  8. Cody Asche
  9. Freddy Galvis
  10. Jon Pettibone

Parting Thought:

The system is lacking when it comes to players with high-end upside or prospects that wear the badge of national recognition, but if you take the time to look, you can find plenty of talent worth keeping an eye on.

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

97 thoughts on “Baseball Prospectus Phillies Top 10

  1. I like this top 10 better than either Sickels’ or BA’s lists. They got the correct 10 players.

    1. Agreed. I also hold Jason Parks in high regard. He thinks very deeply about minor league performance, tools, and prospect value. I find him to be very realistic as well. I was pleased to see his ratings of these guys.

      1. I also like that they are promoting Pullin and Lino as players on the rise. I have both in the 20-25 range, on the top 30.

  2. I love that Franco gets this recognition. I have high hopes for him this season.

    Interesting that Biddle, Franco, Morgan and Quinn rank ahead of Dom Brown in the top young players in the entire system category. It stings to remember that he was once behind only Harper, Trout and Montero in the BA rankings.

        1. I was talking about the top players under 25. Can’t imagine how he’d qualify for a prospects list at this point.

    1. I think Dom Brown will pleasantly surprise many of us in the long run. I expect him to be solid this year – not great, but solid – an okay regular – .265/.340/./450. But when he really gets comfortable and learns to wait on his pitch, I expect him to a very good major league regular with near all-star capabilities from time to time. For a long time, people were comparing him to Darryl Strawberry. At first glance and physicall it looks like an okay comp, but I grew up outside NY watching Strawberry and he’s similar in some ways, but not others – Strawberry had prodigious, usable, in-game power – Brown lags way behind in that category. I think a closer comp might be Von Hayes. People lashed out at Hayes in Philly because he never lived up to a hype others created for him but, in the long run, he ended up being a really good player, compiling 30 WAR and having several seasons where he was a borderline all-star. He was a real good player, although his career was not as long expected. That’s how I see Brown evolving, except Brown might have a little higher ceiling than Hayes but also a higher chance of failure.

      1. I really like the Von Hayes comp, though his (as you say somewhat unfair) rep in Philadelphia makes it in some ways an unfortunate one.

      2. Von Hayes I think not, Wes Chamberlin is more like it.

        And that my friend………..IS THE TRUTH!!!

      3. I would be stoked if Dom turned out like Von Hayes. Von had 5 seasons where he was top 50 in the league in position player WAR and two seasons when he was in the top 20. Hayes had a good season when he was 23 then his first top 50 WAR season when he was 25. Hey, Dom Brown is 25…

      4. I’m still very optimistic about Dom. I think he could be a lefthanded version of Werth at the plate: good patience, hits for extra bases, good for 20 or so HR a year. He just needs the opportunity to play regularly and in full health.

      5. I’d be ok with that comp, Von Hayes was a really nice player. (The Phils asked him to swing for homers after Schmidt retired and that ruined his swing.) Btw, Dom’s problem isn’t waiting on pitches, he needs to look for a certain ptch and hit it when he gets it. He took too many fat strikes. I’m sure he’ll be more aggressive this year with more confidence.

  3. The list is pretty comprehensive and more realistic then BA’s IMO. Surprise to see Gab Lino as a player on the rise. Pehaps he will be the next break-out guy.

    1. In general first division is a top 15 for their position, they are borderline all-stars and could have a better season here or there. Solid-average is more in the 10-20 someone who can hold down the position and when they are bad you are looking for an upgrade.

      1. related question, what are the number scores out of 1-10, 20-80 with the 0 dropped, or something else.

        1. 20-80 scale with dropped 0. It is the notation that Jason Parks uses so it is the dominant one at BP, BA goes with the full number and will actually make half distinctions (you will see 55s and the like on their grades)

            1. He does in his writing (the + to me is areas he could project another grade but not enough to assign that grade), he also distinguishes his 5’s with the “solid” tag to show which are more established on that level (solid-average is better than average)

  4. This list is pretty close to my top 10 and has a lot of the same order (Franco #2) and players. Watson is the only player included in this top 10 that I don’t have. I’m just glad to see some other people throwing Franco out there at 2. I was starting to feel a little crazy having him that high.

  5. I like the list, although their projections are a little conservative. I don’t think anyone knows yet if Martin can stick in the rotation or not for instance. And I think there is a chance Biddle and/or Morgan can do a bit better than #3 starters.

    1. Mark Anderson who wrote the list mentioned in the comments that he purposefully left Revere off. Which seems odd to me because at least I see Galvis and Revere as very similar players (both premium positions, Galvis is better defensively, Revere is much faster and has a more established offensive profile)

      1. Seems odd to me too. Vance Worley would certainly have made the list (I would guess at least top 5) and the Phils gave up him + a prospect for Ben Revere. Either the Phils or the writer of the list made an error in player evaluation. Maybe it speaks to the strength of the system (as well as a still relatively high value assigned to Dom Brown), that Ben did not make the list.

      2. You see Galvis and Revere equal? Oh, never mind no sence debating with you. Wow your lost.

    2. Went and checked the Twins list and Revere came in after Kyle Gibson who had a 6 ceiling (low-end #3 starter) and is major league ready. To me that would put him likely equal with Brown on the 25 and under list. That makes more sense to me.

      1. I would say that is about right. You guys bought the Phil’s propaganda to justify that bad trade.

  6. Yikes, Mike Newman just made a really negative comment on Joseph over on a chat on FanGraphs. Projected his bat as like Rod Barajas.

    1. Is that really negative? What are folks expecting out of Joseph? His ceiling is an average big league catcher; if he fails to reach that, Barajas is probably a pretty good comp. He also hit over 100 big league home runs, which is a career I’d take for Joseph in a second.

    2. Rod Barajas has had MULTIPLE 30 HR seasons. I will take that. He just sucked his one year on the phillies.

    3. While Barajas has had a solid career and it wouldn’t be the worst thing for Joseph to become, I’d point out that Joseph got to AA about three years younger than Barajas.

      1. And he gets a big fat cookie for that….big whoop. Valle got to AA and AAA faster than Joseph so he’s better :p.

        1. Valle only went to AAA so Joseph could play everyday. While you weren’t serious it obviously shows who the Phillies value more.

    4. There’s legit grounds for worry that Joseph’s bat will never be better than average. He has moved through the minors very rapidly, but has yet to put up an .800 OPS. Until he does that, it’s hard to take his projected hitting or power as a given. He’s young enough that it is not yet a red flag, but at some point potential must translate into power. It’s really the Tocci question in an older player. On potential, Tocci is top 5.

      1. I disagree with this comment entirely. Larry had some great responses to the puzzling ToJo critcism regarding his bat. He had a big power year as a 19 year-old in high A ball and more than held his own as a very young AA player. My personal view is that the naysayers are wrong about Joseph – I think he’s going to at least be a solid regular in the big leagues and might even be quite a bit better than that. He’s a heck of a prospect and he is a real leader and hard charger. The Phillies fans are going to flat out love this guy.

        1. His high power was in a western league where the ball flies. I’m also not sure what you are entirely disagreeing about, since you’ve set almost the same thing that I have. e.g.: he held his own at a young age in AA. I wouldn’t argue that he won’t be a solid big league regular, but I think less hyped guys like Asche will also achieve that and do so quicker and with less risk of failure. Yes, he’s a solid prospect. I have him in my top 10, but not 2, 3, or 4 as many have him. I think this ‘real leader and hard charger’ is really over-rated and assigned arbitrarily. I’ve seen him catch in 4 games and couldn’t point to a single example of ‘hard charging’ that I observed in any of those games. Not sure what you’ve seen. Also not at all sure how he could have displayed being a ‘real leader’ or even exactly what that means. I don’t think he was a leader at Reading. I don’t hold that against him. I wouldn’t expect him to be, being younger than his teammates and not very familiar with the pitchers and jumping into the team at the 2/3 of the season point. About the only thing that stood out from watching him is that he has a really, really good arm.

          1. I would say the ball flying out is irrelevant with Joseph, he has very good raw power and crushes when he gets a hold of it (it is power that will play everywhere), and he has shown that in BP since he was drafted. The power question is actually a contact question.

            1. I can’t overstate how unimpressed I am with power shown in batting practice. Now he does have 11 HR in AA as a kid, so that says he has at least reasonable power, although likely a little less than Valle. I’m not buying ‘crushes it when he gets a hold of it’ either. The thing with a power hitter is how often you get a hold of it, so the power question being a contact question is a really big question. I guess it’s semantics. I wouldn’t say Hewitt has demonstrated a lot of power, although I would agree that he can bang them well out when he gets a hold of it, nor would I disagree that his problem is not almost entirely a contact problem. But, I still think the easiest thing in the world is to look at a guy with a strong, uppercut swing and say that he has raw power that will materialize in games if he ever gets consistent enough in establishing good contact. It’s true, certainly, but it can be said of dozens and dozens of minor leaguers, most of whom will never develop sufficient contact.

            2. But if you break hitting down into it’s various components, isn’t power the one area where players tend to make the most progress between the ages of 20 and 25? Sure, in retrospect some of that over the past decade or so was … ah, the result of chemical enhancement, but even controlling for that, as kids fill out, power often spikes up signficantly.

              And I don’t really see it as a contact issue. Howard has a lousy contact rate, but is/was a great power hittter. Joseph, his short stint in Reading aside, hasn’t really had a problem making contact. I wouldn’t call it a strength of his game, but not a weakness either. And yeah, I get that there is a difference between “good”contact and weak contact, but nothing that I have read suggests that that is a problem with Joseph. Now, a guy like Valle, who will swing at anything, will never get a good pitch to hit in the majors, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Joseph.

              Look, there is a obviously a high risk factor with Joseph, but IF he can hit .250/.330/.450 with say 25 HR … as a catcher, assuming decent defense, that’s a borderline all star. Not saying he WILL do that, but I don’t think that’s an unreasonable projection (IF he continues to develop) for a player who held his own in AA as a 20 year old. Heck, that’s Matt Wieters – not that I’m saying he’ll be Matt Wieters, especially defensively, but I don’t think that kind of hitting is much of a stretch, at least as an upside.

            3. I would be more than happy with a Matt Wieters type bat, but Joseph’s minor leagues performance doesn’t even come close to Wieters. At every stop below AAA Wieters had an OPS over 1.000 and at AAA it was .890. As you yourself have pointed out Joseph has never broken the .800 barrier. Now it is hard to compare the too since Wieters was a college kid and Joseph is still young.

            4. Well if Joseph matched Wieters’ minor league performance we’d have a whole new #1 prospect on our hands. Wieters is a good player but when he was debuting people talked him up like he was going to be a megastar. Basically, Wieters hasn’t lived up to his own billing, so I don’t think you need a guy to match Wieters’ numbers in the minors to project a Wieters-ish career in the majors.

            5. What Handzus said, and I would add that he was 2 years older when he hit AA – apples to organges. Yeah, he was a college kid, and, as you acknowledge, comparison is dificult because of that. But contrary to popular belief around here (not saying you are one of the people who beleive this), we don’t give college kids a seperate age/level scale. If Joseph is still in AA in 2 years (doubtful), he could well match Wienter’s performance there.

            6. I don’t know if it’s people wanting a seperate scale Larry, but there are people on here (not so much you) that are unnecessarily harsh on college guys if they aren’t “top prospects”. It seems that college guys come in with an automatic black mark.

            7. I don’t think we’re disagreeing much.

              Some people have suggested a seperate scale. That aside, since you don’t, what I would say is this: historically, especially for the collge kids drafted at 22 yo, the prospects who succeed move through the systemt extraordinarily quickly (and are generally high round picks). There are exceptions, but people who are dismissive of a mid/low round college kid moving slowly through the system are doing so for a reason. If Ruf makes it, for example he really will be doing something essentially unprecedented.

            8. And we have 2 very good examples in our system of how College guys should progress through a system if they are worth noting. Just look to Morgan and Asche both took rookie ball to get acclimated to their new routine. Once they started full season ball they dominated guys their age/younger and were moved to AA to get back to age appropriate level. Just remember that prospects at college are still supposed to be developing while at college not just being stagnant for those years. Along that line i wonder what the new signing schedule will do to give college guys that half a year back that they may have lost to signing issues.

            9. Biancs / Larry – Completely understand the tepid enthusiasm for college guys that move one level at a time through the system. I also agree that those guys 95% of the time won’t be impact players in the majors. But how many impact players are on each team? Not all 25 guys on a roster tore up the minor leagues. Using Ruf as an example, if he proves he can mash lefties, play passable defense at 1st and LF, what’s wrong with having that guy on your bench getting 200-250 AB’s a year. That’s still valuable. I think it’s becoming too prevalent on this site that if a guy isn’t a “blue chip” prospect that they get dismissed. Yes, some people get way too excited, but there is also the group that gets way too negative.

              Bians, I do get that they are supposed to be progressing faster due to their college experience and age, but there was a post on another thread that brought up a decent point. We honestly don’t know what type of coaching they got. Do you honestly think a college coach would tell a guy like Franco to work on hitting the other way for half the season? Or tell Biddle to dial back his fastball to work on control? Those guys have jobs. Yes, they have incentive to make these guys better players but their #1 goal is to win games and keep their jobs.

            10. Anonymous , like Larry said we are pretty much in agreement and I do think some people may look at it as a black mark on a college draftee who was taken in the later rounds. And what you lay out with college coaches is exactly the reason that all ML teams try so hard to sign the elite talent right out of HS where they can control their development. I have said for a while now if either of my sons were to be drafted especially as a catcher i would advise them to go to the ML team as their full focus would be on the ultimate success of the player not W’s that most people don’t care about. Anyway just thought of another college guy who moved fast and that was Worley, now he was a little different as he was pressed into service as the most ‘ready’ pitcher at AAA and got a shot due to injury and a Happ trade, but he made the most of his chance.

              And Just to put Ruf into perspective and Larry puts it correctly that it is unprecedented. And that is not a bad thing, but he had one of the most ridiculously successful months ever in baseball against younger competition in a month where more polished prospects get moved up and younger guys get promoted. Because of that he has moved from a guy who looked to be on the path of org filler to a guy that is getting a lot of significant press now as a legitimate prospect. He is also getting his shot of being a starter in the big leagues. I would hope no one here is rooting against him as he all like the same team, and i am very curious to see what he can do and how much of last year was just a guy in the ‘zone’ versus a guy who had solid #s albeit at an elevated age in the minors who appeared to put it together. Is it time for spring training yet??? I am so ready!!!!

            11. Can’t come quick enough my friend. You’re right though, we are kind of all in agreement, great conversation.

            12. Where do you see all of this batting practice? There have been a lot of batting practice heroes in baseball history. Atown is right with his contact he is a .240 w/15hr in the majors We have three catchers with those stats.

        2. I didn’t see a hard charger or leader at Reading. Are you talking about before the trade? He never came out from behind the plate in the games I saw. And he hardly made contact.

  7. Good overall list. I’m excited by the love for Franco. Putting him 2nd, ahead of Quinn, is a big deal to me. Also, more love for Tocci which I’m encouraged by even if I don’t agree with it. In spring training, I’ll definitely be checking out Tocci. I like the closing comments also, it could be a system on the rise if we can get one breakout star this year.

    1. I am conflicted on Franco. His lack of speed and general athleticism does concern me, especially as he gets older and is 10-20 pounds heavier. Mix of skills and tools though is intriguing. I like Quinn a little more (mainly because I think his stats took a hit learning to switch hit on the fly), but Franco clearly has a higher ceiling than Asche if he can get there.

      1. I’m going to leave this link over at the prospect discussion page as well. I’m a little confused about the whole “athleticism” criticism of Franco. Somebody threw around a comparison to Pablo Sandoval. Franco is apparently slow, but he is not fat or out of shape. Here are some pictures of him, for people who haven’t seen him play in person:

  8. Like the list. The most realistic one I’ve seen in terms of projection. It’s a clear toss up w/ Quinn and Franco and if they were switched, I wouldn’t mind.

    The only disconcerting thing I took from Park’s write-up of the system is the lack of overall depth, not so much speaking to lack of upside or blue chip guys, but just the volume of “blatantly flawed” prospects. Hopefully this year’s draft eats away at some of that as well as the hopeful advancement of a few of the others.

    1. If these guys reach their listed projection of #3 starters and first division position starters, that isn’t a bad outcome at all. I don’t know who in the Phillies system I would list as a potential star. Perhaps Quinn at SS and Giles out of the pen. Aumont if he gets his control down as a closer. Our farm has a lot of middling guys, guys with questions, guys with potential, but very few who jump out as potential stars and truly not all that many who realistically project to top division position player, #3 pitcher, or closer/setup guy. It is not an overly strong farm. I think many tend to view it from a really rosy perspective and equate potential as almost as good a (results + very good scouting reports).

      1. ATown…you never know…I remember Utley’s first year at Scranton…decent numbers, not spectacular and he was 22 or so. But not sure he was considered a potential star at that point.

        1. The question about Utley was always whether he could be adequate (I know, strange to think that now) defensively at 2B. When the Phillies drafted him, he was thought to be the best collegiate hitter in the draft. He developed into a Gold Glove fielder, but the bat was always there.

          It is really hard to judge the bat of a guy who moves through the system rapidly out of HS, always being very young for his age. Almost the same thing with Valle. On the scouting, remember BA ranked the minor league catching prospects this season and Joseph and Valle slotted side-by-side, but with Valle one position ahead of Joseph.

            1. Poor range… are we watching the same fielder? Utley’s only problem defensively is throw. Maybe now it’s an issue but it wasn’t before.

          1. Utley never won a gold glove. And he didn’t make the majors for good until he was 24 or 25. But he made as teams and SS awards.

            1. No he didn’t win a GG, but he does have a career 17.3 dWAR. Flawed stat as it is. He’s made himself into a very good defensive player.

            2. You’re right. I don’t put much into defensive metrics, but he covers a ton of ground. You don’t need numbers to see that.

        2. Utley’s hitting in the minors was a disappointment from the get go. Two HR in the half season NYPL coming out of the draft. Utley never hit his way out of Clearwater and was skipped over Reading to AAA where he accumulated two full seasons of AB.

          Pat Burrell accumulated less than half as many AB in the minors as Utley, who was expected to fly through the minors.

          1. Utley had an .827 OPS his first season with Phillies in the NYPL. That was enough to skip him over Lakewood to CLW. He didn’t have a great year at CLW, but held his own, then OPS of .800+ and .900+ in his two triple A years. Nothing shabby about any of that. Burrell was the first player taken in the draft his year and he flew through the minors. Utley moved through the minors quite fast, until he was given the extra season at AAA, which really wasn’t needed. He was still up in PHilly at age 24.

            1. Nitpicking but he got 46 games at 24, played 94 games at 25 and didn’t play a full season until 26.

  9. Franco is the much better prospect then Joseph . BP got it right at least. He can’t run. He is a third baseman! So young. Power. Arm. Makes plays. He should have been before Joseph. Just because the Phil’s said Joseph is a high prospect to justify a bad trade, you don’t have to buy it lock stock and barrel. He may have hit his wall. He looked terrible every game I saw him play.

  10. Why are there only 3 prospects listed under “5 Prospects on the rise” and under “5 for 2013”?

  11. Lefty. i agree so much on joseph. it seems everyone has him high for doing what???? Mostly on phillies talk and a older scouting report.

  12. Good stuff from BP.
    I agree that the system is lacking in true upside talent other than Quinn and Tocci. Maybe the power guys, but none of the young guys has displayed it.
    Even Biddle, who everyone seems to like, is still projected as #3 starter. I’d like the Phillies to actually field mostly prospects at AAA and AA.

    And the one guy I could figure as Low risk, Pettibone, is not. Pitching depth is an organizational strength but depth is only nice if those guys can actually be more than replacement level arms in the future.
    Overall, I like the list and rankings. I have Ruf and Gillies cracking the top10, mostly due to proximity though I think they have starter level talent.

    I really like Pullin, always a soft spot for ‘hit tool’ guys. At 2B, he can be a good ‘all around’ player and make it to the majors. I understand Lino is very young but has done little as far as stats go. Picking any 1st Round pick on the rise seems pretty obvious.
    2013 guys make sense, all had Major League time, have impressive power, and will likely be given a legimate shot to play.

    Brown ranking in the 25under group is interesting to me. It would seem to mention that Brown’s trade value is likely better than Tommy Joseph. For the Phillies I’d say that Quinn, Tocci, and Joseph should be untradeable. Brown is close for me. Biddle would have to be in a major deal since Morgan provides some ‘depth’. Franco is still a couple years away with Asche and Walding as possible insurance.

  13. If the you say the system is lacking true upside talent, then how can you say in the next breath, “(multiple players) should be untradeable”?
    Every player is tradeable, in the right package. That goes for the ‘Blue chippers’ too.

    1. One reason is that the Phillies need young, cheap, good (even as a #3 starter or 7th/8th inning reliever talent from the farm to make the major league team affordable. You can’t keep trading talent for the opportunity to pay big $ to guys like Pence and Young. A trade for a younger guy, like Revere, can certainly work if the guy you get is worth what you traded. Unfortunately, most of the Phillies trades have been patches for older, expensive players. As we are almost snug up against the luxury tax threshold, that is a game that can’t continue, especially with the age of the Phillies core. You either add young talent or age into oblivion. You can’t build a contending team from FA and older vets that other teams wish to discard. Biddle and Martin can be young help quite soon. They need to be retained and nourished.

      1. That still doesn’t answer the question of why someone is untouchable. You’re making the assumption, that the players coming back, have to be big money players. The Phillies just traded the ‘untradeable’ Vance Worely and once ‘untradeable’ Trevor May, for a need player, that doesn’t make any money. Point is, every body can be traded, as long as you get value back.

  14. I think the thing that keeps being forgotten is that the system is not thin on talent and upside. The problem is the guys with upside are far away, and the guys close are just guys. Earlier in the fall I asked Jason about the system and his response was essentially that they have Biddle who is really good but not elite, and the rest either just isn’t special (Joseph, Morgan, Pettibone, Asche, Ruf, etc.) or has upside but a ton of risk (Quinn, Martin, Franco, Watson, Greene, Gueller, and others).

    If you view the system in the context that the Phillies thought their window was a year or two more than it was, you can see that they found safer guys who could move through quickly who could fill roles but not be game changers (Asche, Morgan, Wright, Buchannan, Rupp) and then went with guys with a ton of upside who were really far away, some of whom have flamed out. But the idea being that you are trying to build for the next core. The system would look much better if the team still had a window of a year or two more and you could say that waiting on a Quinn or Franco was a fine thing because they weren’t needed for a few years.

    1. The problem is that 2011 and 2012 were to be the last hurrah at the major league level. In 2011 we fizzled in the playoffs, while in 2012 we just fizzled, largely due to injuries. Now the window is looking more closed than open. Rupp and Brown can be contributors and Revere is very young. I think looking for ‘special’ from the farm may be too much to ask. Drafting where we’ve drafted, ‘solid’ is a good thing to shoot for. Unfortunately, the Phillies could never convince themselves of the wisdom of spending big on international talent. They had the money to do so and there were no real limits on what they might do, if they chose to. That was really, apart from getting hugely, dumbly lucky, to find ‘special’ for the farm. A guy like Watson or Gueller may well develop into solid, as in good #3 starters, but you aren’t likely to find ‘special’ where they were drafted.

      Fans make a mistake in looking at guys like this and seeing potential and tools as reasonably likely to equate to ‘special’. That rarely ever happens. We may get lucky with Quinn. He at least has some tools to be special. Seeing 80 power in guys like Greene and Cozens seems like using extreme wishful thinking to burden them with unrealistic expectations. I just think fans for every organization look at their lower prospects and see raw ‘specialness’. Guys who if all goes right will produce enormous in-game power. It so seldom happens in real life.

      Fortunately, one doesn’t need a lot of special. A guy like Franco or Asche can be very good, hitting above average, with good hands and strong arm. Both lack the speed and range or extreme power to ever be confused with ‘special’, but that is how we got them. Combine average to a little above at most positions with Lee/Hamels/Halladay at the head of your rotation and you can do very well.

      1. Well said. The window is certainly closing but hopefully they can make one last run at it this year. With the extra wild card they could slip into the playoffs and from there anything is possible. It would take some good breaks, but it’s not impossible.

  15. LarryM wrote:
    “a mid/low round college kid moving slowly through the system are doing so for a reason. If Ruf makes it, for example he really will be doing something essentially unprecedented.”

    Not really.

    Plate Appearances:
    Chase Utley 1866
    Josh Willingham 2186
    Ryan Howard 2143
    Darin Ruf 1632

    1. Had a long response to this that got lost, so I’ll (for a change) be succinct: if you think that the number of games played in the minors has anything to do with this discussion, you haven’t been following it very well.

      1. Right. Agree that IF Ruf becomes an above average to all star level major leaguer it will be nearly unprecedented.

        Even Mike Piazza and Albert Pujols were just low draft picks but crushed in the minors. Ruf was ‘good’, but at 1B, certainly not good enough to aggressively promote.

          1. Not to mention he was drafted out of HS in the 2nd round. Then in the middle of the 1st by the Phillies 3 years later. Either way, not a “low round college guy”.

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